Test suite¶

MESA includes a comprehensive test suite.

Building upon test suite cases¶

Your first stop when setting up a new problem with MESA should be the MESA test suite. You will find a wide range of sample cases there. Looking at the test_suite inlists is a quick way to familiarize yourself with the set of options relevant to your problem. You may want to copy an inlist from the test suite to one of your working directories to use as a starting point for a project of your own.

Each test suite problem lives in a subdirectory of

$MESA_DIR/star/test_suite  and you can find (slightly out-of-date, but still useful) descriptions of some of the test problems in the docs/ sub-directory of each test_suite case. For example, take a look at the “high mass” test case. It starts by creating a pre-main-sequence model of 100 Msun with Z=0.02, and then it “relaxes” Z down to 1e-5 and the mass up to 110 Msun before starting the evolution. It will take under 200 steps (and a few minutes) to reach a central X of 0.5. To try it yourself, cd star/test_suite/high_mass ./mk ./rn  You can do the same with any of the test_suite cases. If you want to base your work off of a test_suite case, you should make a copy the directory and then edit this copy. cp -r$MESA_DIR/star/test_suite/high_mass my_high_mass


The test_suite examples require a few tweaks in order to be used “outside” of the test_suite directory. First, you need to edit make/makefile and delete the line

MESA_DIR = ../../../..


Then, edit the inlist files and delete the line

mesa_dir = '../../..'


Then edit the rn script and delete the line

MESA_DIR=../../..


These changes ensure that you are using the copy of MESA specified by the \$MESA_DIR environment variable.

You might also need to adjust filenames of any initial models or other inlists, if they are specified by a relative path. (You can simply change these to be an absolute path.)

The test_suite inlists specify rather strict limits on the number of steps (by setting max_model_number) and/or retries (by setting max_number_retries). You likely want to delete these limits.

The MESA test_suite problems also have non-standard run_star_extras, including routines that check the runtime of the example. If these annoy you, they can be pruned by hand.

Tools such as Bill Wolf’s mesa-cli can automate some of these steps.

Star tests¶

1.3M_ms_high_Z¶

The test checks the evolution of metal-rich low-mass stars by evolving a 1.3 Msun, metal-rich Z=0.04 model from the pre-main sequence to core hydrogen depletion.

1.4M_ms_op_mono¶

The test checks the functionality of OP mono opacities. The test vehicle is a 1.4 Msun solar metallicity model.

1.5M_with_diffusion¶

The test checks the functionality of element diffusion. The test vehicle is a 1.5 Msun solar metallicity model.

15M_dynamo¶

The test checks the functionality of element rotation in a 15 Msun solar metallicity model.

16M_conv_premix¶

This test suite example re-creates the 16-solar mass main-sequence evolution with the inclusion of convective premixing (using the Ledoux criterion), as detailed in Section 5.3 of the MESA V instrument paper (Paxton et al 2019).

16M_predictive_mix¶

This test suite example re-creates the 16-solar mass main-sequence evolution with the inclusion of predictive mixing (using the Ledoux criterion), as detailed in Section 2 of the MESA IV instrument paper (Paxton et al 2018).

1M_pre_ms_to_wd¶

This test case checks the evolution of a 1 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity from the pre-main sequence to a white dwarf.

1M_thermohaline¶

The test checks thermohaline mixing in a rotating, 1 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity model.

12M_pre_ms_to_core_collapse¶

This test suite evolves a 12 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ model from the pre-ms to core collapse.

20M_pre_ms_to_core_collapse¶

This test suite evolves a low metalicity 20 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ model from the pre-ms to core collapse.

20M_z2m2_high_rotation¶

This test case checks the evolution of a strongly rotating, Omega/Omega_crit = 0.75, 20 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity model from the pre-main sequence to the end of core helium burning.

5M_cepheid_blue_loop¶

This test case checks that the evolution of a 5 Msun, metal-poor Z = 0.008, helium-enriched Y=0.256 model executes a blue-loop in the HR diagram and crosses the classical Cepheid instability strip boundaries three times.

7M_prems_to_AGB¶

This test case checks that the evolution of a 7 Msun, metal-poor Z = 0.001, model reaches the AGB.

accreted_material_j¶

This test suite example checks the accretion of material and angular momentum onto a 20 Msun model.

This test suite example checks the functionality of the adaptive nuclear reaction network.

carbon_kh¶

This test suite case evolves a stellar model with a pure carbon composition as it Kelvin-Helmholtz contracts. It provides a convergence example for the different forms of the energy equation.

cburn_inward¶

This test suite example checks the inward propagation of a carbon burning front in a 7.5 Msun model.

ccsn_IIp¶

This test suite example builds a Type IIp supernova model, including Rayleigh-Taylor Instability mixing, for subsquent use in STELLA.

conserve_angular_momentum¶

This test suite example checks angular momentum conservation from the zero age main-sequence to the formation of a helium core in 1.0 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model.

custom_colors¶

This test suite example shows how to use user-defined color filter and extinction files.

custom_rates¶

This test suite case checks the use of custom nuclear reaction rates in an accreting 0.3 Msun helium white dwarf model.

diffusion_smoothness¶

This test suite case checks that element diffusion produces a sufficiently smooth Brunt profile.

extended_convective_penetration¶

This test case checks the implementation of the extended convective penetration prescription for core boundary mixing.

gyre_in_mesa_bcep¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for a 12 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model evolving from the zero-age main sequence to core hydrogen depletion; a beta Cephei stellar model.

gyre_in_mesa_envelope¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for the envelope of a 12 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model.

gyre_in_mesa_ms¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for a 1 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model evolving from the zero-age main sequence to core hydrogen depletion.

gyre_in_mesa_rsg¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for a 21 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model in the red supergiant regime.

gyre_in_mesa_spb¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for a 5 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model evolving from the zero-age main sequence to core hydrogen depletion; a slowly pulsating B-type star (SPB) stellar model.

gyre_in_mesa_wd¶

This test case checks the implementation of GYRE in MESA for a cooling 0.85 Msun white dwarf model.

high_mass¶

This test case checks the evolution of a 300 Msun, Z = 1e-4 metallicity, model through core hydrogen depletion.

high_z¶

This test case checks the capability of evolving high metallicity models through core helium depletion with a 7 Msun, Z=0.07 metallicity model.

hot_cool_wind¶

This test case checks the cool wind, hot wind capability by evolving a 7 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity model from the zero-age main sequence to core helium depletion.

hse_riemann¶

This test case checks Riemann HLLC solver can hold an envelope model in hydrostatic equilibrium.

This test case checks the evolution of an ~1 Mjup model after the surface has been irradiated.

low_z¶

This test case checks the evolutions of a 0.8 Msun, Z=1e-4 metallicity model from the pre-main sequence to core hydrogen depletion.

make_brown_dwarf¶

This test case checks the creation of a 1.05 Mjup, Z=1e-4 metallicity model and its subsequent evolution for 20 billion years.

make_env¶

This test case checks the creation and stability of a pure iron neutron star envelope.

make_he_wd¶

This test case checks the creation and evolution of a 0.15 Msun helium white dwarf.

make_metals¶

This test case demonstrates the creation and evolution of 3 Msun model whose initial metallicity is Z = 0.

make_o_ne_wd¶

This test case produces a 1.05 Msun oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf using stellar engineering.

make_planets¶

This test case shows an example of a 1 Mjup model with a 10 Mearth core that is irradiated and evolved for 10Gyr.

make_sdb¶

This test case shows an example of making a 0.4 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, helium model - a B-type subdwarf (sdB) star.

make_zams¶

This test case shows an example of creating a 4 Msun, Z = 0.01 metallicity, pre-main sequence model and evolving it to the zero age main sequence.

make_zams_low_mass¶

This test case shows an example of creating a 0.085 Msun, Z = 0.014 metallicity, pre-main sequence model and evolving it to the zero age main sequence.

make_zams_ultra_high_mass¶

This test case shows an example of creating a 250 Msun, Z = 1e-4 metallicity, model close to the main sequence.

ns_h¶

This test case shows an example of steady hydrogen burning within a neutron star envelope.

ns_he¶

This test case shows an example of a helium flash within a neutron star envelope.

ns_c¶

This test case shows an example of a carbon flash within a neutron star envelope.

other_physics_hooks¶

This test case exercises several of the other_* physics hooks simultaneously in a 1 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model. It provides an example of how to include your own physics code into a MESA run.

pisn¶

This test case evolves an initialy 200 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ star from ZAMS untill it undergoes a pair instability supernovae (PISN).

This test case exercises radiative levitation and the OP mono opacities in the outer layers of a 0.466 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, B-type subdwarf (sdB) model.

relax_composition_j_entropy¶

This test calls the routines that relax the composition, angular momentum and energy of a model to given target values.

rsp_BEP¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 0.26 Msun, Teff = 6968 K, L = 33 Lsun, Z = 0.01 metallicity model - a binary evolution pulsator similar the one shown in Smolec et al 2013, MNRAS.

rsp_BLAP¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 0.36 Msun, Teff = 26,000 K, L = 320 Lsun, Z = 0.05 metallicity model - a blue large-amplitude pulsator model originally contributed by Alfred Gautschy.

rsp_Cepheid¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 4.165 Msun, Teff = 6050 K, L = 1438.8 Lsun, Z = 0.007 metallicity model - a classical Cepheid variable similar to CEP-227 shown in Pilecki et al (2013).

rsp_Delta_Scuti¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 2 Msun, Teff = 6900 K, L = 30 Lsun, Z = 0.02 metallicity - a double-mode delta Scuti variable leaving the main-sequence phase originally contributed by Alfred Gautschy.

rsp_RR_Lyrae¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 0.65 Msun, Teff = 6500 K, L = 60 Lsun, Z = 0.004 metallicity - a long-period RR Lyrae model contributed by Radek Smolec.

rsp_Type_II_Cepheid¶

This test case checks the non-linear pulsation evolution of a 0.55 Msun, Teff = 6410 K, L = 136 Lsun, Z = 0.0001 metallicity model - type-II Cepheid of BL Her type based on Smolec and Moskalik (2014).

rsp_check_2nd_crossing¶

This test case exercises the RSP model building and linear nonadiabatic stability analysis to find the instability strip edges, and effective temperatures offset from the blue edge of the instability strip.

This test case checks that RSP models can be saved and loaded to produce the same results as test case rsp_Cepheid.

semiconvection¶

This test case checks placement of the convective and semiconvective boundaries when using the Ledoux criterion and predictive mixing, see MESA V.The test vehicle is with a 1.5 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, model.

simplex_solar_calibration¶

This test case exercises the simplex framework with a check of the chi^2 value for 1.0 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, solar model.

split_burn_big_net¶

This test case tests MESA’s ability to perfom a split-burn calculation in a 25 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ star during silicon burning.

test_memory¶

This test case program checks MESA’s memory management. It is designed primarily to be run inside the valgrind leak-checking tool, and is based on code provided originally by Warrick Ball.

timing¶

This test checks the counter and timing routines with a 1.5 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity model.

twin_studies¶

This test case exercise the capability to simultaneously evolve two model stars. The test vehicle is a pair of 15 Msun, Z=0.02 metallicity, models one with overshooting and one without overshooting.

wd_c_core_ignition¶

This test case the checks the onset of a thermonuclear runaway in an accreting Chandrasekhar mass carobon-oxygen white dwarf.

wd_cool_0.6M¶

This test case the checks the evolution of a cooling, element diffusing 0.6 Msun white dwarf.

wd_diffusion¶

This test case the checks element diffusion in a 0.6 Msun carbon-oxygen white dwarf.

wd_he_shell_ignition¶

This test case the ignition of a helium layer in an accreting in a 0.96 Msun carbon-oxygen white dwarf model.

wd_nova_burst¶

This test case checks the evolution of a nova outburst for one cycle.

wd_stable_h_burn¶

This test case checks the evolution stable hydrogen burning on a white dwarf.

c13_pocket¶

This test evolves a 2.0 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ star through one thermal pulse on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and illustrates third dredge up and the formation of a $$^{13}{\rm C}$$ pocket.

conductive_flame¶

This test case models a conductively-propagated deflagration wave (“flame”) in a high-density, degenerate carbon-oxygen mixture. It also provides an example for use of the other_build_initial_model and other_surface_PT hooks.

hb_2M¶

This test case shows a 2 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ stellar model evolving on the horizontal branch (HB) through core helium burning.

make_co_wd¶

This test case produces a 0.6 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ white dwarf with a carbon-oxygen dominated core and a stratified atmosphere dominated by hydrogen at its surface. The final model produced by this test case also serves as the starting model for wd_diffusion and wd_cool_0.6M.

magnetic_braking¶

This test case involves the calculation of the spin down caused by a large-scale magnetic field in a massive star model.

ppisn¶

This test case shows an example of a star undergoing a pulsational pair-instability supernova. The model starts from a massive helium star, and includes switches from hydrostatic to hydrodynamic models, as well as the removal of ejected layers.

R_CrB_star¶

This test case creates and evolves a simple model of an R Corona Borealis star and provides an example of how to use AESOPUS opacity tables in MESA.

This test checks the implementation of the control use_T_tau_gradr_factor, which modifies the radiative gradient so that regions of low optical depth have a temperature that follows the $$T(\tau)$$ relation specified by atm_T_tau_relation.

wd_acc_small_dm¶

This test case models an accreting CO white dwarf (WD) and checks that the composition of the accreted material is being correctly tracked.

wd_aic¶

This test case shows an accreting ONeMg white dwarf (WD) evolving towards accretion induced collapse (AIC). It also illustrates use of the special weak rate implementation described in Section 8 of MESA III.

Binary tests¶

double_bh¶

Creates a binary black hole from two stars in a very close orbit through the chemically-homogeneous evolution (CHE) mechanism. Stars evolve through overcontact phases, so they test the overcontact prescription.

evolve_both_stars¶

Tests MESA evolving two stars simultaneously including mass transfer.

jdot_ml_check¶

Using pre-specified efficiency options, verifies that the evolution follows the analytical result from Tauris & van den Heuvel (2006). Shuts off all other jdot sources.

jdot_gr_check¶

With all other jdot sources turned off, this verifies that the orbital evolution due to GW emission follows the analytical result of Peters (1964).

jdot_ls_check¶

Verifies that models with tidal evolution conserve angular momentum.

star_plus_point_mass¶

Tests MESA evolving one star plus a point mass, including mass transfer to the point mass.

star_plus_point_mass_explicit_mdot¶

Same as above, but run using an explicit calculation for the mass transfer rate.

wind_fed_hmxb¶

Model for a high mass X-ray binary, including both Roche lobe overflow and wind mass transfer. Verifies the Eddington limit is working, and that the accretion luminosity is computed correctly.

Astero tests¶

Demonstrate how to use the astero module to call ADIPLS or GYRE, respectively.

Both tests use the same main-sequence evolution of a 1.2 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ star, so the evolutionary outputs (e.g. final.mod, LOGS/history.data) should be identical for both tests. Tables of mode frequencies are displayed in the terminal every 50 models and should be the same to within about 0.1 μHz. These can be compared by diffing the terminal output.

The tests compare one mode frequency (currently for (, n)=(0,4)) with a target value set by x_ctrl(1) with a tolerance of 3%. Over time, cumulative changes to microphysics might mean the targets are missed, causing failure. In this case, both targets can be updated to the same value. Failure should be investigated if, e.g.,

• something is changed that shouldn’t affect the main-sequence evolution of a 1.2 $${\rm M}_\odot$$ star or
• one of the tests passes and the other fails.

Note that GYRE can also be called directly, without using the astero module. See the gyre_in_mesa_* test cases in star’s test suite.

example_astero¶

An example optimisation run of the astero module, based on the CoRoT target HD 49385. This is the usual starting point if you want to optimise model parameters using the astero module.

surface_effects¶

Tests the implementation of the various surface effect corrections available in MESA.